Law Offices of Daniel J Miller - February 2020



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Don’t Mistake Burning Bridges for Fireworks


You’ve probably seen them on TV, the bold, brash attorneys who enter a courtroom ready to tear the opposing counsel to shreds. While they might be venerated on the small screen, I can tell you from personal experience that attorneys rarely win cases because they’re loud and obnoxious, and that behavior doesn’t win them any favors. Just because an attorney isn’t always fiery in the courtroom doesn’t mean they aren’t looking out for your interests. If there’s one misconception about lawyers I hate, it’s that if they’re not shouting over the opposing counsel, they’re not advocating for their client. That couldn’t be further from the truth. As attorneys, we should absolutely be firm and stern in our defense, but I speak from experience when I say that unnecessarily hostile language won’t get attorneys, or their clients, anywhere they want to go. “If there’s one misconception about lawyers I hate, it’s that if they’re not shouting over the opposing counsel, they’re not advocating for their client. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” When it comes to interacting with the opposing counsel, I’m a firm believer in the golden rule. I always ask myself how I would like the opposing counsel to treat me in the courtroom, and I treat them the same way. You might be thinking, “Hold on

a minute. Isn’t the opposing counsel your opponent in this lawsuit? Why wouldn’t you treat them like an opponent?” True, it seems counterintuitive, but I’ve found you get a lot more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. As attorneys, it’s our job to see that justice is served, not that we pull one over on the other guy. If an attorney’s goal is to make as many enemies as they can, then they can by all means proceed to put on a fireworks show in the courtroom. But if an attorney’s goal is to advocate for their client, they’ll simply ask questions when they could argue, and remain composed when they could be aggressive. One scenario I’ve seen play out for aggressive attorneys is as follows. They start the proceedings off overly confident in their case and their client’s position. For a while, it seems like things might be going their way. They tell off the opposing counsel at every turn, sure they’ll win the case. Then,

something happens they didn’t account for, and the case falls apart. They might end up having to try and ask for a favor from the opposing counsel on behalf of their client. If you were the opposing counsel, would you be inclined to give them that favor? You don’t want an attorney who burns bridges. That’s because, ultimately, the bridges they burn are bridges you might need to cross in order to get justice for your case. So, if you ever find your case has gone to court, don’t look to the attorney who acts like a jerk during the proceedings. All they want to do is put on a show. Look beyond the fireworks for an attorney who will truly advocate for you. – Daniel J. Miller

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TRY OUT THESE LOCAL TIMELESS PASTIMES WITH YOUR LOVED ONE! C lassic and R omantic W ays to S pend F ebruary

Even if you’re in love all year round, you might be looking for new ways to spend time with your loved one in February. Sometimes there’s no better way than to rely on the classic romantic experiences we see in the movies. Try attending an orchestra, having a multicourse (and affordable!) meal, or drinking coffee with a special guest speaker at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art!

VIRGINIA BEACH’S RESTAURANT WEEK 2020 When: Feb. 3–9 Where: Virginia Beach Price: Breakfast $5–$10, Lunch $10–$15, Dinners $20–$35 With over 80 locations participating, this week will be the perfect opportunity to eat at your favorite restaurants or try new ones you’ve been meaning to sample! Each restaurant will be crafting special breakfast, lunch (two-course), and dinner (three-course) menus at a low cost for the event. All menus exclude drinks, tax, and gratuity. You don’t need tickets to participate, but you should make reservations wherever accepted!

and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. Arrive an hour before your concert to attend “Behind the Notes,” a free, preconcert talk hosted by Danzmayr himself. Make your date night extra special with this thrilling, classical experience!

COFFEE + CONVERSATION When: Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m. Where: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Price: $6 for students, seniors, and military; $8 for adults

MAHLER & MOZART When: Feb. 23, 1:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Where: Sandler Center Price: $25–$110

If you’re curious about breaking new ground in art and neurology, there’s no better way than to do it over coffee. Special guest Dr. Alberto E. Musto, assistant professor of pathology and anatomy, will explore the exhibition “Charged” and discuss how art can stimulate both the brain and body. Dr. Musto integrates an interdisciplinary approach in neuroscience research and diversity in medical curricula. It’s perfect for your intellectually curious date!

Guest conductor David Danzmayr is praised by Western and European critics alike, and he was appointed last year as chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic. These professionals boast extensive careers, performing in venues like Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna,

F rom Z ero to 300


While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport. SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973, she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic “Heart Like a Wheel.” Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing. JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In 1976, she became the first woman

to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca-Cola 600, then called the World 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world land speed record. Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.” When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production. If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”


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BAPACHas Your Back

One of the greatest things about living in Virginia Beach is having the Atlantic Ocean right in our backyard. The beach is an incredible asset to any town on the east coast, and it’s a place to play and relax for locals and tourists alike. At the same time, commercial fishing boats can make a living by fishing in the bountiful waters just off shore. With so much good coming from the ocean as it is, it should be surprising that some large corporations in the oil industry would be willing to risk losing it all for a pay day that might never come. For years now, big oil has lobbied in Washington to establish offshore rigs for the purpose of oil and gas exploration and drilling, but these practices could have detrimental effects on the environment. It would mean polluted waters and beaches that would ruin beach tourism, not to mention the livelihoods of countless families who run fishing businesses in the area. Fortunately for anyone who cherishes our beaches and oceans, BAPAC has helped make sure that doesn’t happen.

The Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) has led the way in advocating for the long-term health and economic vitality of our beaches and oceans all along the Eastern Seaboard. BAPAC formed in 2016, and since then they have received the support of over 42,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families in their mission to conserve the East Coast. BAPAC takes the concerns of small business and fishing interests to Capitol Hill to make sure they are heard above the voices of big oil lobbyists. So far, their efforts have been successful, and multiple attempts at establishing offshore drilling platforms have been curtailed. For all those who would support the interests of major corporations at the expense of working people and small business owners, it’s good to know there are still organizations out there willing to fight for the rights of everyday Americans.




• 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved • 2 gala apples, cut into wedges • 1 red onion, cut into wedges • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste

• 4 boneless chicken breasts • 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped • 2 tbsp butter, divided • 2/3 cup apple cider • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. On a baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, and rosemary sprigs in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Roast vegetable and fruit mixture until tender, about 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. 5. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on one side. Flip and cook 2 more minutes. 6. Pour cider onto chicken. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and let it rest on cutting board. 7. Return skillet to stove on medium-high and simmer sauce until reduced by half. 8. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of butter with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice chicken and divide among plates with roasted vegetables and serve.

Inspired by Food Network

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How Client Advocacy Really Looks PAGE 1 Local February Events Fearless Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports PAGE 2 Fighting to Keep Our Oceans and Beaches Clean and Pristine Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts PAGE 3 Learn All About Leap Year PAGE 4 INSIDETHIS ISSUE

FACTS ABOUTTHE LEAPYEAR LEAP INTO2020 Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five

million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big.

Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.


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